Novak Djokovic might be a tip actor in a ATP Rankings. But with a European clay-court pitch removing underway during a Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters, a Serbian admits that 11-time champion Rafael Nadal is a favourite.
“I consider Rafa is apparently always a unequivocally transparent favourite on any clay justice in a universe and that doesn’t change. He’s still there,” Djokovic said. “If he’s physically fit he’s unequivocally a No. 1 man on this surface, though a doubt.”
Nadal has not competed given withdrawing forward of a BNP Paribas Open semi-finals due to pain in his right knee. But a lefty is prepared to go in Monte-Carlo, looking to turn a initial actor to win 12 titles during a singular ATP Tour event.
“After him, it’s utterly open,” Djokovic pronounced of a contenders on clay. “Zverev has finished unequivocally good on clay a past few years. Dominic Thiem, of course. Roger is going to play as good this season, so that’s good for tennis. we consider it is flattering open.”
“I suspicion tennis was blank him unequivocally on clay final year. But we think, personally, people accepted since he motionless as good to skip a clay-court deteriorate final year and we also know since he wants to play. Definitely for a sport, it’s improved that he plays,” Djokovic said. “He’s been personification some good tennis. Dubai, Indian Wells, Miami, he’s won dual out of three, played a final in Indian Wells, [which is] as good as it gets. Of march [clay is] a opposite surface, though in Indian Wells a turn bounces utterly high there, that kind of imitates a clay. He’s dealt with high balls unequivocally good via his career, so we don’t see any sold large emanate personification on this surface… we always design highs from him.”
For Djokovic’s part, a two-time Monte-Carlo champion is perplexing to rebound behind after unsatisfactory third turn and fourth turn exits in Indian Wells and Miami, respectively. The tip seed can tie Nadal’s record of 33 ATP Masters 1000 titles if he emerges winning in a Principality.
“This is sport, it happens. Certainly we was unhappy since we suspicion we was personification improved and improved and we suspicion we could go far. But during a same time it is what it is and as we pronounced I’ll try to demeanour on a certain side,” Djokovic said. “I’ve had good form a past 12 months, good form. And other than those dual tournaments, all a others I’ve played were during slightest a semi-finals or finals, many of a tournaments we played. That can offer usually as an inducement so to say, or a certainty boost, before to clay season.”
In a way, a change of aspect is well-timed for Djokovic after his new defeats. While it historically has not been his best surface, a 31-year-old has won some-more than 79 per cent (199-52) of his tour-level clay-court matches, according to his FedEx ATP Win/Loss Record. That ranks second among active players, trailing usually Nadal (92%).
“Obviously clay is a totally opposite surface. It’s unequivocally perfectionist physically, tactically, we have to be some-more patient, resilient, some-more enduring,” Djokovic said. “You have to be means to erect a indicate in several ways. It is a delayed surface.
“[The] clay courts here in Monaco are substantially a slowest of a large ones that we have on a Tour. My diversion and everybody’s diversion will be tested big-time, though that’s since we’re here.”
Djokovic owns a 32-10 record in Monte-Carlo, so it’s not been his unequivocally best contest over a years. But a Serbian resides in a Principality, so personification a initial clay-court Masters 1000 contest during a Monte-Carlo Country Club, where he trains when home, is roughly like a home-court advantage.
“It’s good to play during home. we live here. I’ve used it as a bottom for a past roughly 15 years,” Djokovic said. “The mutation of this bar is utterly extraordinary compared to a other times of a year when we don’t have a contest it’s unequivocally ease and there’s not many people. Right now it’s only a opposite world. But we like it, we welcome it, and this is unequivocally one of if not my favourite contest to play and we can’t wait to step on a court.”